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Old 12-04-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
MKEbrew
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Default brew in a bag, small batches

I just now heard of brew in a bag. I've been doing extract partial boils and thought this could help me transition to AG without much up front investment.

I only have a 5 gallon brew kettle though, and was wondering how big of a batch I'd likely be able to biab.

I brew with the "power burner" on my gas range right now and it works perfectly for my extract partial boils, but I am imagining with biab this kettle will be up to the top.

Essentially, I want to be able to experiment with small batches so I might even be happy with one gallon, but the more the merrier of course!

Thoughts?

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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I do 1 3/4 gallon BIAB batches once a week. This gives me a great variety of beer to drink instead of 50 bottles of the same stuff. I'm sure you could get away w/3 gallons for sure maybe 4 gallons. Here is a link w/some pictures of my brewing a smoke porter.

I bought a bunch of 2 gallon paint buckets at H.D. I have a 4 gallon kettle and a 5 gallon cooler to mash in.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/smok...6/#post3538007

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:11 AM   #3
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Work with the calculator on the green bay rackers - can i mash it; Green Bay Rackers--Mash Calculators

I wouldn't go less than 1.5 qt/lb.

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:25 AM   #4
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i bet you could make 3 gallons easily.

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Old 12-04-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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I've done several 3 gallon batches with equipment like yours but that is about the limit with a 5 gallon kettle. While I enjoyed it and it took less time, I added a turkey fryer and started making 5 gallon batches and found that my electric range could bring that 6 1/2 gallons to a boil fairly easily so I went to the 5 gallon batches. They take longer to cool but I get twice as much beer in a batch.

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Old 12-04-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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It is still posible for you to make a 5 gallon all grain biab with your 5 gallon pot. You will need to do a high gravity partial boil and top off the water in the fermentor (or BK after the boil). This method is referred to as maxi biab if you want to do some searching.

I did this last week with roughly 13 lbs of grain in 3.75 gallons of water. Make sure your grain bag is large enough. I ended up with almost 3 gallons of 1.070 wort. My efficiency sucked but it worked. I did not sparge either.

You will need to scale up the malt in your recipe his way though.

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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Without getting a small cooler to mash in you should be able to do 2 or 2.5 gallon batches depending on your grain bill. Your limiting factor is your small 5 gallon pot but it can be done.

I have a 7.5 gallon pot and do 3 gallon batches. There is not much extra head space in the kettle with the grain mashing in it. There is a sticky you should check out if you havent already. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/biab...g-pics-233289/

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Old 12-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #8
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Appreciate all the feedback! I'm getting pumped to try this. I think it will help me transition. I do have a nice brew kettle and burner on my wish list so I'll eventually have what I need.

Thanks!

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #9
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As mentioned, anybody can do a high gravity brew as in this wiki; High Gravity Brewing - Home Brewing Wiki

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshortt View Post
It is still posible for you to make a 5 gallon all grain biab with your 5 gallon pot. You will need to do a high gravity partial boil and top off the water in the fermentor (or BK after the boil). This method is referred to as maxi biab if you want to do some searching.

I did this last week with roughly 13 lbs of grain in 3.75 gallons of water. Make sure your grain bag is large enough. I ended up with almost 3 gallons of 1.070 wort. My efficiency sucked but it worked. I did not sparge either.

You will need to scale up the malt in your recipe his way though.
I used to do this too and it worked great. I have also used a second pot to "dunk sparge" the bag of grains after the mash and added it to the boil kettle before starting the boil. I usually ended up with about 3 gallons of high-gravity wort and topped it up to 5 in the fermenter.

I now do full boil biab with a propane burner, but one of my favorite batches so far was an all amarilo IPA I made on the stove top.
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